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When Things Fall Apart, Pema Chodron


A definitive read for those truly interested in Buddhism. Don’t fall for the modern-day, self-promoting ‘Shamans’. The most difficult times for many are the ones we give ourselves. It’s never too late to practice loving-kindness. Not knowing how much time we have left, we might begin to think it’s important to make friends with ourselves and others with our time left on this earth. If you want to find the meaning, stop chasing after so many things. We regard loneliness as an enemy. Heartache is something we choose not to let in. We need to have non-threatening relationship with loneliness, a relaxing and cooling loneliness that completely turns our fear patterns upside down. Cool loneliness- less desire, contentment, complete discipline, not seeking security from one’s thoughts. What we habitually regard as obstacles are not really are enemies, but rather our friends, the way the world and our entire experience teach us where we’re stuck. Whether we experience what happens to us as obstacle and enemy or as teacher and friend depends entirely on our perception of reality. It depends on the relationship with ourselves. The source of wisdom is whatever is going to happen to us today, what is happening to us right at this very instant. Whatever occurs can be regarded as the path and that all things, and not just some things, are workable. Meditation is not based on winning or losing, loss or gain. When meditating we can connect with something unconditional -a state of mind, a basic environment that does not grasp or reject anything. Meditation is probably the only activity that doesn’t add anything to the picture, everything is allowed to come and go. It’s totally nonviolent, nonaggressive occupation. Not filling the space, allowing for the possibility of connecting with unconditional openness – this provides ops for real change. The simplicity and immediacy of the breath. Buddhism is for people who don’t have time to waste. Thinking that we have ample time to things later is the greatest myth. The deep seated tendency to try and get away from what we are doing, clouds our perception and thinking. If we knew that tonight we were going blind, we would take a longing last real look at every blade of grass, every cloud formation… if we knew we were going deaf tomorrow we would treasure every sound we heard. We are taught to scare us into wakening up to how little time there is and preciousness of human birth.

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